Young Adult AcademyThe Young Adult Academy (YAA) serves individuals up to 40 years of age
The Young Adult Academy (YAA) serves individuals up to 40 years of age. The program offers adult education classes as well as employment/vocational opportunities. The Academy is structured similarly to the Total Lifestyles Program, but is more intensely focused on long-term needs, community and independent living. Academy students typically live in nearby off-campus homes, but the YAA is located in the main school building.
Students in the Academy continue to take courses, but they are designed to have a more collegiate feel. Specific areas of focus include community integration, life skills, math, reading, listening skills, social skills and more. Many of the individuals in this program first came to KDS as students in the Total Lifestyles Program and have decided to remain in the community that provides them so much support. Academy students are actively involved in community activities and are role models for younger students in the program.
The Academy is all about practicality! Students go to the grocery store to practice shopping on a budget and learn to use the self checkout. They visit the library weekly to check out books, participate in mock job interviews and practice banking by transforming a corner of the classroom into a bank setting.
Several years ago, the YAA started its very own candle company, Scents Ability, so that students could gain more work experience. Orders come in from local businesses and staff members—students then make the candles and fill the orders. For fun, students take day trips to state parks and participate in Special Olympics and other sports leagues, including baseball, softball, soccer and swimming.